Food Storage Do-Over Week 1: 72 Hour Kits

Home / Food Storage Do-Over 2015 / Food Storage Do-Over Week 1: 72 Hour Kits

We are sooooo excited to be starting off the food storage do-over! Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!

Food Storage Do-Over Week 1:  72 Hour Kits

We heard a statistic once that if you have 3 days of food and water on hand you will be more prepared for an emergency than 95% of the world. 72 hour kits play a key role in both having food on hand AND having food and supplies ready to grab and go in an emergency. Remember you may be evacuating on foot and won’t necessarily have the supplies which are in your car, so you may need to double-up on items you usually keep in a car kit.

This week we just want to focus on the food, water, and tools for your kits. We usually recommend you also include an emergency binder as part of your kit but we will hit that in more detail next week.

If you are BRAND NEW and don’t have a 72 hour kit yet, never fear. It’s pretty easy to compile a simple one. There are a lot of lists online of what you should include in a kit. Here are some of the most common items we’ve seen:

– 3 day supply of water (mylar pouch water bags are ideal)
– 3 day supply of food (click here for food ideas)
– Tools to cook your food if applicable
– Dishes/utensils for foods if applicable

Clothes/Shelter/Temperature Control
– Change of clothes
– Warm clothes if it’s winter
– Sewing kit
– Sturdy shoes
– Emergency Blankets or sleeping bags
– Rain poncho
– Body warmer
– Tarp and rope or a tent
– Wind/waterproof matches
– Candles
– Coffee can heater

Hygiene/Sanitation/Personal Needs
– Prescription medications
– Extra pair of glasses or Contact solution and spare case
– Trash bags
– Personal hygiene products (toothbrush, toothpaste, tampons, etc.)
– Sanitation supplies (toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer)

Tools/Emergency Supplies
– Emergency credit card and cash in small bills
– First aid kit
– Battery powered radio
– Flashlights, headlamp, or powercap
– Extra batteries
– Glow stick
– Small shovel
– Swiss army knife and/or multipurpose tool
– N95 dust mask
– Work gloves
– Maps of surrounding areas
– Blank CD or other item to signal for help
– Whistle

– Pictures of each family member
– Contact information for emergency contacts
– Baby supplies
– Games and books
– Pet food and supplies

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress on this week’s thread in the facebook group!

If you already have a basic kit put together but haven’t pulled it open for a while, here are some ideas of things you can do to re-fresh your kits this week.

– Rotate food and water as necessary
– Check/rotate matches and other fuel supplies
– Swap out seasonal clothing and shoes
– Update kids’ clothes to correct sizes
– Rotate baby supplies (diapers in correct size, formula expiration dates, etc.)
– Check batteries for flashlights and radios
– Check medicine expiration dates and supply levels
– Updated pictures and medical information for each family member
– Updated emergency contact information
– Look at some of the lists in the resources below and add a few additional items to your kit that you are missing

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress on this week’s thread in the facebook group!
Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your kits. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

View our 72 Hour Kit board on Pinterest
How To Make A 72 Hour Kit (original milk jug idea)
Camping with Thrive (great ideas for portable meal/snack options)
72 Hour And Disaster Kits For Babies/Toddlers
Disaster Kit Scavenger Hunt
Pets And Preparedness (72 hour kit ideas for pets)
Survival Kit Ideas Week by Week
Starting Your 72 Hour Kits (list plus packaging and purchasing tips)
How to Build the Ultimate Bug-Out-Bag (intense level of detail here!)

You may already have many of the kit items already hanging around your house. It’s easy enough to gather them up into a spare backpack. But sometimes people just want to buy a kit already put together. Here are two places you can look for options. Of course you will need to add your own clothing, and we recommend putting in some “real” food in too as those emergency bars aren’t that enjoyable as your only food source!

Basic 3 Day Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials
Magnum 1-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials
2 Person Survival Pack from Thrive Life
Expedition Basic 4 Person Kit from Thrive Life
InstaFire Fire Starter
Inflatable Solar Lanterns

Please pin and get your friends joining in too!

Food Storage Do-Over Week 1:  72 Hour Kits

  • Palmbay Lou

    A suggestion on the matches, I would highly recommend using butane lighters as you can get thousands of lights out of them. You can still store a couple in a pill bottle but they will go farther than matches.

  • Miriam Santos

    Hi I’m brand new to this. Reading this post overwhelmed me already! Lol. So here is my question (I’m sorry for sounding dumb) all of the above items should fit in a backpack? I would love to see a video of how to pack an emergency backpack….is there one available?

    • I fit MOST of it in one backpack. I added a few of the less critical items spread out into my kids packs as well. If only my husband or I were home without the other spouse we would take the fully packed bag. I have a separate bag for just my clothes that I can attach to do the backpack full of supplies.

  • Holly

    Check expiration date on credit card. You can request a second card online for a discover account. Also I’d recommend setting email alerts and checking the account when you pay bills.

  • GhoulishCop

    I would’ve liked to see suggestions for the bags to put all this gear in.

    • Gayle

      We use multi-pocket backpacks with various exterior attachment loops and ties. Ours also allow a camelback type water bladder attachment. They have a waist strap and upper chest strap to secure them on your body and they came with walking poles with changeable tips for different terrain. Mine weighs in at 30 lbs. when loaded. We assume we will have to walk and will not be in public shelters since we have pets so ours are set for us to truly survive out in the elements. We also have multi-pocket vests that are adjustable at the sides so we can wear them over jackets, winter coats or just over our shirts. Our dogs (80+ pounds) each have packs so they can carry their own food and water needs along with other needs like their leashes, additional collars, their booties to protect their feet and identification info with all their immunization info, etc. Speaking of feet, we make sure that we have vacuumed sealed bags with multiple pairs of socks. If you are walking a lot, taking care of your feet is a big, big deal.

    • heatherAK

      If you do the 3 layer system, you should have extra room in your backpacks. Small essential items you would not want to be caught without, like pocket knife,a fishing line/hook and matches in a pill bottle, money, bandana, credit card reflector mirror, flash light and whatever else can fit in your pants pockets. Then have a belt pack that fits in front of you at waist level. Then a hicking backpack that you can attach your tent to the bottom outside. Also a coat will fit with tent. Layering is the key to being able to carry what you need and want. This is how i was taught from an early age. It works well. This way if something happens to you big pack you still have enough to survive on with just whats in your pockets.

  • Dianne

    I also have a school pencil case with eversharp pencils, pens, small notepad, adult scissors, paper clips. If your multi-tool has a scissors, then you don’t need this one.

  • John

    I set an alarm on my phone twice a year to switch out from summer and winter so I don’t forget. This forces me to go through my bag to verify items are up to date. I have a tarp I got for free from a company that has coupons in the weekly ads. I’ve seen coupons for a free headlamp and a screwdriver set which may come in handy. This makes putting your kit together more affordable.

  • Susan in Southern AZ

    We started this very thing over the weekend, and found that the keys to the little locks on our car bags were gone (we have kids that get into them despite all & keep them locked) – so that is a huge issue. We have cut the locks and got combo locks instead.
    We also decided to up our water supply in the bags as we live in southern AZ and might need more than the recommended amount especially if we have to walk very far.

  • Kimberly Elliott

    Thank you. I’ve been meaning to get together my 72 hour kit for a while now. Despite being hit by both a flood and almost a fire, I still haven’t done it. I just never quite know exactly what to put in my kits. I’ve always seen try this and this, but never a definite list like this. I will be working on these this weekend.

FREE checklists to make your life easier

Start today and get our 4 favorite downloads to help you build and use your food storage!